The Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers came together for their first meeting of the season Saturday night in Columbus. While the Blue Jackets looked to enter the three-day holiday break on a three-game point streak, Philadelphia, off the heels of a 4-2 Friday night loss in Buffalo to the Sabres, came in 8th place in the Metropolitan Division, looking to close the gap.
Here's how it went down.
The game had a brisk pace from the start and both teams had point-blank looks early. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped one of the Flyers’ best chances when a 2-on-1 rush by Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny came with 11:19 left in the period. The play developed when the puck got beyond Pierre-Luc Dubois, who was covering for the defense on a play inside the blue line when the puck came back towards him out of his reach.
Not long later Cam Atkinson was stopped in the slot, after being on the receiving end of a Boone Jenner cross-ice pass.
Already being tested on the injury front, there was a slight scare when a Seth Jones slap shot caught Atkinson's skate right in front of Brian Elliott. The play was stopped and Atkinson would skate off under his own power.
Coming in, the Jackets' 15th ranked penalty kill took the ice first and played well, keeping Philadelphia from registering a shot on their first power play chance. Matt Calvert, who has Columbus' lone short-handed goal this season, nearly had another but hit the top crossbar.
Jonesy to Bjorky and back to Jonesy pic.twitter.com/h9c91vccfz— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) December 24, 2017
The Flyers were nabbed for too many men at 16:37 and the suddenly hot Jackets‘ power play scored in its fourth-consecutive game. Jones and Oliver Bjorkstrand traded passes, and it was Jones coming up with his seventh of the season and second power-play goal. The shot deflected off Ivan Provorov and changed direction on Elliott. Along with Bjorkstrand, Artemi Panarin also assisted.
#CBJ have scored a power play goal in four straight games for the first time since last Dec. 16-22. #oneyear— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) December 24, 2017
Looking for depth players to step up, the recent call-up, Jordan Schroeder, led both teams in faceoff wins with five for the opening frame.
Seth Jones PPG
Artemi Panarin A
Oliver Bjorkstrand A
Columbus had a 2-on-1 opportunity as Dubois just missed off the post. Later, as the Flyers came through the zone, Giroux, hiding on the wing, passed back to Provorov on the blue line, who unleashed the shot from the point, tying the score 1-1.
After the Flyers goal, Bobrovsky came up huge the rest of the way.
In one instance, Giroux was behind the Blue Jackets’ defense and received the outlet lead pass from Sean Couturier, but Bobrovsky was there to stop the break. Later on, the Flyers had a tic tac toe chance right on Bobrovsky’s doorstep but his right pad stuck by the right post and stymied Wayne Simmonds.
Late in the period, Jakub Voracek walked in and scored what would have put the Flyers ahead, but the puck was knocked down on the high stick by Taylor Leier, and therefore, nullified.
Through two periods, Schroeder has taken eight face-offs. he’s won seven of them (88%) #CBJ— Alison (@AlisonL) December 24, 2017
Ivan Provorov G
Sean Couturier A
Claude Giroux A
Josh Anderson had a few scoring chances on the evening, just missing his 14th goal, not two minutes into the final period. Throughout the midway portion of the third, Columbus peppered the Flyers in shots 12-2.
With 15 seconds left, Couturier very nearly could have ended things, walking in on Bobrovsky, but was rejected by the inside of the posts.
Nick Foligno had a pick at the Jackets’ blue line, leading the rush the other way, but could not complete the pass for Atkinson. Panarin put on his patented puck-on-a-string display when he came in and danced around Giroux, taking the puck behind the net, before bringing it back out to the blue line.
Inside the final minute of overtime, there would be one more push from Philadelphia. The Flyers won the faceoff to Bobrovsky’s right, and Voracek was all alone in front, but Bobrovsky made one more giant save of the night.
Both Elliot and Bobrovsky were sensational, and for Columbus' second game in a row, things would need to be settled in a shootout.
The Jackets were 3-2 in the shootout, while the Flyers, 0-2, have yet to win one. While the first wave of shooters missed for both, it was Dubois going top-shelf for Columbus to grab the shootout lead. It was his first career shootout attempt and goal.
TOP SHELF WHERE MAMA HIDES THE COOKIES pic.twitter.com/Kv5LVCeskF— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) December 24, 2017
And as apropos as it would be, it was Bobrovsky who would make the final save on Voracek to seal the victory.
Bobrovsky picks up win No. 199 for his career and Columbus extends its home-winning streak to 11 over the Flyers. The streak dates back to Dec. 13, 2005. The Jackets have won seven-consecutive one-goal games, and are 8-0-2 in extra time on the campaign.
Schroeder won seven of eight draws for Columbus. He saw 8:01 ice-time and 0:45 on the power play. After the game, the Blue Jackets loaned Tyler Motte, Cameron Gaunce, and Schroeder to Cleveland.
The next game for Columbus will be Wednesday, Dec. 27 versus the Penguins in Pittsburgh.